Crown Castle CEO Sees Long Term Gains from Increased Consumer Usage, 5G, Edge Networks

Jay Brown, president and CEO of Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI) said increased consumer reliance on communications infrastructure as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the build-out of 5G platforms, and the development of edge networks are all factors expected to support the REIT’s future growth.

In a video interview in conjunction with Nareit’s REITweek: Virtual Investor Conference (being held June 2-4), Brown noted that “consumers are relying on these networks more heavily today than we were even a few months ago.” At the same time, the wireless carriers have been very public about their intention of continuing to build out their 5G networks, he said.

“Our future is really bright, we’re excited about where we are,” Brown said.

T-Mobile’s commitment to build out 5G networks in the United States, as part of the merger agreement with Sprint, will benefit Crown Castle’s infrastructure “significantly,” Brown said. “It’s really a long, multi-year investment cycle that will benefit us and our infrastructure over time as they build out those networks.”

In addition, the T-Mobile/Sprint merger has resulted in the entrance of DISH Network Corp. as a potential new customer for Crown Castle, Brown said, which is “a great uplift to our long term expected revenue growth.”

Brown also discussed the development of edge computing and its importance for Crown Castle.

“The edge of the network is really the tower infrastructure and small cells…our real estate becomes the logical place for that infrastructure to be put,” he said.